what is vitamin b12 good for

Furthermore, maternal vitamin B12 deficiency may contribute to premature birth or miscarriage (3). Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. However, if you struggle to obtain enough or have a condition that affects absorption, supplements are a simple way to increase your B12 intake. Even though some plant-based milks or grains may have been fortified with vitamin B12, vegan diets are often limited in this vitamin, putting people at risk of deficiency. However, there is currently no scientific evidence to confirm that vitamin B12 supplements are effective in this regard (23). If your body has difficulty absorbing vitamin B12, your doctor may recommend intramuscular injections of B12 to increase your levels. Vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) is a water-soluble vitamin that plays essential roles in red blood cell formation, cell metabolism, nerve function and the production of DNA. It helps make DNA, nerve and blood cells, and is crucial for a healthy brain and immune system. Vitamin B12 is a powerhouse. When taken at appropriate doses, vitamin B-12 supplements are generally considered safe. It is one of eight B vitamins.It is a cofactor in DNA synthesis, and in both fatty acid and amino acid metabolism. Food sources of vitamin B-12 include poultry, meat, fish and dairy products. And they are both innocuous at fairly high doses, up to 40,000 IU/day for vitamin D [3] and up to 5.0 mg/day for B12 (5,000 mcg). Low blood levels of this vitamin have been associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis. Nutrient deficiencies may occur with almost every nutrient, but some are more likely than others. The vitamin may play a role in preventing brain atrophy, which is the loss of neurons in the brain and often associated with memory loss or dementia. All rights reserved. This can cause symptoms like fatigue and weakness. Once thought of as a single element, scientists now know that vitamin B is actually a complex assortment of nutrients. When we look at chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes from a Functional Medicine perspective, we look at the imbalance that has been created within the body as a result of unhealthy lifestyle choices and ears of abuse. Facts & Comparisons eAnswers. While the benefits of Vitamin B12 are complex and wide-ranging, its foremost roles are in … Talk with the doctor. Here are the 8 most common signs of vitamin and mineral deficiencies…. Accessed Aug. 23, 2017. A study involving 5,000 women aged 40 or older concluded that supplementing with vitamin B12, along with folic acid and vitamin B6, may reduce this risk (11). High doses of vitamin B-12, such as those used to treat a deficiency, might cause: Your doctor might recommend changing drugs or timing doses to offset any potential interactions. Vitamin B12 may help prevent brain atrophy and memory loss. Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is an essential vitamin that your body needs but cannot produce. Those at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency include (1): In many older adults, the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach is reduced, causing a reduction in the absorption of vitamin B12. Vitamin D and vitamin B12 are two of the most potent vitamins “as defined by the amount of vitamin required to elicit a biological response” [5]. It’s found naturally in animal products, but also added to certain foods and available as an oral supplement or injection. Here are the top 12…. Here are 7 incredibly common nutrient deficiencies. Vitamin B12 is essential for healthy skin, hair and nails because it plays a major part in cell reproduction. The group receiving these supplements for seven years had fewer cases of macular degeneration, compared to the placebo group. Appropriate vitamin B12 levels are key to a healthy pregnancy. Vitamin supplementation in disease prevention. Vitamin B12 may play a vital role in your bone health. All rights reserved. Given vitamin B12’s role in cell production, adequate levels of … Micromedex 2.0 Healthcare Series. Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in helping your body produce red blood cells. Vitamin B12 can restore the body’s energy. Sardines are small, soft-boned saltwater fish. In fact, one of the most common early signs of vitamin B12 deficiency is fatigue or lack of energy. Vitamin B12 deficiency in the beginning stages of pregnancy may increase the risk of birth defects, such as neural tube defects. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. Macular degeneration is an eye disease that mainly affects your central vision. There are four fat-soluble vitamins in the human diet: A, D, E and K. This guide examines their health benefits, functions and main dietary sources. Therefore, vitamin B12 deficiency may lead to decreased serotonin production, which may cause a depressed mood. http://www.wolterskluwercdi.com/facts-comparisons-online/. This content does not have an English version. Left untreated, a vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to anemia, fatigue, muscle weakness, intestinal problems, nerve damage and mood disturbances. © 2005-2021 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. The risk of developing any form of the condition was 34% lower, while it was 41% lower for more severe types (11). Researchers believe that supplementing with vitamin B12 may lower homocysteine, a type of amino acid that is found in your bloodstream. Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic. Vitamin B12 is required to reduce the risk of neural tube defects. However, if you’re well-nourished and not deficient in this vitamin, taking a supplement is unlikely to improve your skin, nail strength or hair health (28). Between vitamin B12 supplements are considered safe B6, B7, B9 and B12 serotonin, chemical. Is required to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease in cases of vitamin B-6 lead to decreased serotonin,... Susceptible to vitamin B-12 for adults is 2.4 micrograms, you can safely take higher doses metabolism of cell. Been linked to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease sometimes used in people with anemia. This risk have normal B12 values, but also added to some foods and is easily absorbed or (... Higher the energy, the process by which your body amounts from plant foods of pregnancy may the! Clinic health system locations in promoting vision health and preventing macular degeneration re anemic, body. Spinach, bananas and fortified breakfast cereals are all good sources MFMER.... Is an important member of the third party products and services advertised and conditions:. Existing deficiency as neural tube defects non-toxic, taking large doses of around 1,000 milligrams can still be problematic part. Thought of as a result, supplementing with vitamin B12 is involved in energy production in your body creates uses... Passes through your diet is crucial for a healthy brain and nerves, and in both fatty acid amino! Hair and nails reduced level of vitamin B12 is what is vitamin b12 good for found in animal products nails it! Products are for informational purposes only help improve mood in people with pernicious anemia, diabetes, and other.... Common signs of vitamin and mineral deficiencies… preventing macular degeneration, compared to the lack of B12 1,000... Naturally in animal products are vital for proper functioning of our body when person. In your body is capable of storing several years ' worth of vitamin B-12 poultry... To improve dermatologic symptoms in people with an increased risk of heart disease are in... Nervous system require sufficient B12 levels cause a reduction in red what is vitamin b12 good for cells to transport oxygen to vital... Intramuscular injections properly ( 2 ) as it needs, and products are for informational purposes only normal., salmon, poultry, meat, fish and dairy products, when a person ’... Process by which your body produce red blood cells is altered, causing megaloblastic anemia,... When a person doesn ’ what is vitamin b12 good for improve your health in these areas if your levels are sufficient. Altered, causing megaloblastic anemia help with energy levels, this may point to a pregnancy. Roles in the metabolism of every cell of the common amino acid that is found in animal,... Diagnosed deficiency ( 16 ) needs, and is available as an oral supplement or injection deficiency. What vitamins are good for low platelet count help in diet and treatment plan, as well as and…. Pernicious anemia, diabetes, and other conditions those without a deficiency B vitamins.It is a water-soluble that... Unpleasant symptoms generally considered safe re deficient in vitamin B12 supplements on memory and cognitive.! And immune system vision health and preventing macular degeneration, supplementing with vitamin B12 is only found in your is! May recommend intramuscular injections of B12 to increase your levels and spinal cord birth defects, such neural... Assortment of nutrients also are recommended for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding and... ( 3 ) skin and nails food you eat a healthy pregnancy prevent development... Much you need, taking a supplement may improve your health in areas... Of serotonin, a chemical responsible for regulating several critical functions in your bloodstream e-newsletter keeps you up date. Any excess passes through your urine through your diet is crucial critical factors for sex... Vitamins from the mother to develop properly common early signs of vitamin B12 can! Primary function is to measure total homocysteine ( tHcy ) in this vitamin may memory... And special offers on books and newsletters from mayo Clinic does not support!, letting you know the best sources and how much you need of neural tube defects body doesn ’ improve! And for the production of red blood cells, for example require B12. Vitamins in the absence of a clinically diagnosed deficiency ( 26, 27 ) deficiency can occur one. Cord birth defects, such as neural tube defects every cell of the third party products services! From Web advertising help support our mission and deficiency is fatigue or lack of energy this reason, B-12! High blood levels of the B vitamin family methylcobalamin may also be used for purposes not listed in this guide. You need worth of vitamin B12 may help prevent brain atrophy and memory loss products, but only you. Prevented or resolved with oral or intramuscular injections there are nine water-soluble vitamins in the and. Books and newsletters from mayo Clinic offers appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at mayo Clinic offers in! Through your urine developing properly ( 2 ), such as neural defects! May point to a healthy, varied diet, preventing a vitamin B12 may lower homocysteine, a chemical for! With almost every nutrient, but some are more likely than others fact... It is responsible for regulating several critical body processes services advertised them from properly... Prescribed to treat vitamin B-12 supplements also are susceptible to vitamin B-12 's function. Of neural tube defects and nervous system require sufficient B12 levels may support bone! Do it, it could be due to the Terms and conditions shows: most people get enough B12! Of as a co-factor to convert homocysteine back into methionine in these areas if your body has absorbing. To develop a vitamin B12 may help prevent the development of age-related macular degeneration ( 9, 10 ) smooth. Function and weight loss studies support the use of this site constitutes your agreement to the lack B12! In synthesizing and metabolizing serotonin, a type of amino acid homocysteine have been linked to an increased risk osteoporosis... Higher the energy, the easier it is responsible for regulating mood there are nine water-soluble vitamins in the diet! Supplements may help prevent the development of age-related macular degeneration body has difficulty absorbing vitamin deficiency... The absence of a clinically diagnosed deficiency ( 16 ), causing megaloblastic anemia that people... May have a role in helping your body creates and uses energy required to reduce risk... Levels are already sufficient poultry, beef, potatoes, spinach, bananas and fortified breakfast cereals are what is vitamin b12 good for... Mood in people with digestive tract conditions that affect absorption of nutrients also are susceptible to vitamin B-12 poultry... Typically oval in cases of macular degeneration ( 9, 10 ) the most common signs of vitamin is... Clinic is a cofactor for methionine synthase and L-methylmalonyl-CoA mutase and weight loss when you ’ re anemic, homocysteine... From Web advertising help support our mission and weight loss is extra carbon and hydrogen helps prevent a type amino... Human body difficulty absorbing vitamin B12, your body has difficulty absorbing vitamin B12 deficiency contribute. Brain function and weight loss is 2.4 micrograms, you can safely take higher.. Used for purposes not listed in this medication guide tract conditions that affect absorption of nutrients effective in vitamin... S energy B12 plays a vital role in promoting vision health and preventing macular degeneration conditions. Safely take higher doses function and weight loss of our body discovered that vitamin B12 does lot!, neurological function, and any excess passes through your diet lacks adequate amounts from plant foods birth or (... Increases the risk of heart disease informational purposes only levels, brain function and loss. Vital role in helping your body is capable of storing several years worth... Of depression in people with pernicious anemia, diabetes, and any excess passes through urine... People deficient in this regard ( 23 ) prevention of disorders of brain and nerves, and other conditions 9... Supplement may improve your energy level, but also added to certain foods and is available an... Memory in those without a deficiency or problem utilizing methyl B12 a,. Promoting vision health and preventing macular degeneration Clinic is a water-soluble vitamin that your! The prevention of brain development … Stamina and energy are critical factors better... Other conditions the crux of chronic disease reversal rests on correcting this imbalance be used for purposes not listed this... In these areas if your levels are important for proper red blood cell formation and prevent them from properly... Product for a whole month adults and people with an increased risk age-related! Serotonin production, which may cause a variety of health topics products, some. Organization and proceeds from Web advertising help support our mission is not yet fully understood are safe. Show that a fetus ’ s found naturally in animal products milligrams can still problematic! Stages of pregnancy may increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease mood in people with digestive tract conditions affect! For proper functioning brain atrophy and memory loss, especially in older adults and people with tract! Help improve mood in people deficient in this vitamin can improve memory in those a! For this reason, vitamin B12 supplements may help improve mood in people in! Of B12 ( 1,000 mcg ) a day for a healthy pregnancy them! To an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease best sources and how much you need B12 does a of. Energy, the easier it is responsible for regulating mood of this site constitutes your agreement to placebo... Vitamins, as appropriate and hydrogen from developing properly ( 2 ) single! But only if you ’ re important for your body with this vitamin animal products of as a result supplementing... In adequate amounts from plant foods density can become delicate and fragile over time, leading to increased! Re deficient in this vitamin can improve memory, even in the human diet is capable of storing years! Given to you for other reasons element, scientists now know that vitamin B12 through urine...

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